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Bearing Cages on Wheel Hubs
#1
One of the "project bikes" I have has bearing cages on the front hub. I noticed a scraping noise in riding, moreso down hills but just in starting out a ride too, so that was why I wanted to redo this hub. When I took it out, I noticed there was very little grease on it, which explained to me the problem. I redid this hub, and basically followed the procedure <a HREF="http://bikeride.com/overhaul-threaded-headset/">here</a> regarding handling the bearing cages.
After that, I notice that I still have the scraping noise going down hills (but the sound starting out rides is gone). Is this a general weakness of using a bearing cage in this location (and why I found loose bearings in the other bikes I did?) and I shouldn't worry about this (I didn't find any grooves or pitting in the bearing races)? Or is there something that I should have done on this one that I didn't do? The more exposed side of the bearing cage was inward toward the center of the hub if that helps...

Why is it that they make adult bikes that'll generally work for 5'9" or above, yet when you pedal these same bikes they only work for someone who is 5'4" or so?
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#2
I would try it without the cages. Most hubs have loose bearings - 10 3/16" on each side for the front, and 9 1/4" bearings on each side for the rear. Once you packed the hub with grease, lay the bearings in the race all the way around... you should be left with enough space for about 1/2 a bearing.

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#3
It definitely looks quite non-standard now that I've had a look at it again. I put a call into the company and they evidently discontinued the bike (they don't know the model #). So they can't tell me anything about the parts that were used.
So I took some pictures. Hopefully something can be figured out. Note the lack of grease around the bearings, that worries me too. Please excuse the poor quality, the camera I used doesn't do detail pictures very well. I also didn't clean anything up - what you see is as it is when I took the hub apart (again).
We have the hub itself. It doesn't look anything different to me than the other two that I did. If I were to clean it up, you'd see some depressions where the bearings would go.
Now I popped out a bearing from the cage to get a measurement. It may not be too clear, but from appearances it seems to be either 3/8" or 1/4".
Now the bearing cage the bearing came out of. Note that the bearing cage wasn't cleaned - all that's there on it is a thin layer of grease. I didn't take a picture of the cone, but there was some of the grease caked in about 3/4 of the race.
Now the questions are after this:<br />
1) If I went "loose" with the bearings, would I be able to buy such a size in any bike shop, or anywhere for that matter?<br />
2) If I went "loose" with the bearings, and found the bearings, would they fit in this hub, or would it seemingly be designed to work with the bearing cage? The depression on the hub itself seems to go pretty deep, and the cone seems to be shallow. The cone screws into the hub flush, and allows the wheel to spin freely.
Of course, finding out the manufacturer of the hub would solve a lot of problems, so if there's a way to figure that out, it would be helpful too...
Edit: My image tags seem to be edited out. Here they are:
<img src="http://bnfbua.bay.livefilestore.com/y1pD_1oRFfbxth2J4nc6G1MRWBo-COrCzjiNCywWNYECil5AMxcusvmv7WqgPkSa5Pb8IeQlDFNW38/HUB01.JPG" alt="001" width="425" height="365" /><br />
<img src="http://bnfbua.bay.livefilestore.com/y1pD_1oRFfbxtiyIel3ZX6K6FF6cb-ASqBwsyd4BlXcePw7AiabGHmAMdDDQFz5ZbnA_tQsT591YGE/HUB02.JPG" alt="002" width="425" height="329" /><br />
<img src="http://bnfbua.bay.livefilestore.com/y1pq85Jai-EOlIEzf9IqWztTurNMZlcKh0ogWAZnvzLnsvsAKrt1DU2Gg_Lpl1U4XIBBkB3Vr-BU0w/HUB03.JPG" alt="003" />

Why is it that they make adult bikes that'll generally work for 5'9" or above, yet when you pedal these same bikes they only work for someone who is 5'4" or so?
  Reply
#4
Your best bet would be to take one of the bearings to you local shop to get the right sized replacements. Then pack the hub with new grease and lay in the bearings (loose, without the cage) as described earlier (leaving room for about 1/2 a bearing).

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